Tuesday, October 6, 2009


There is a backhoe parked in my driveway tonight. A sable mound of earth, freshly turned, is just visible from the north deck. It is Goldie's grave.

Goldie wasn't my horse. She belonged to a friend who needed a quiet place to bury her. Somewhere she could settle into dust, and in some other century blow across this hill in the autumn wind that only yesterday filled her crescent nostrils and billowed her flaxen mane.

I didn't know her well, never rode her, never stroked her. When she arrived at In the Night Farm, she was already gone. She died in her own pasture a few miles away -- familiar, safe, in the company of her chestnut companion.

I didn't know her well, but I admired her fine, straight legs that protruded from the bucket of the backhoe. Her bones and tendons stood out lovely and artistic, striking, intricate perfection. Sheen still lay like sunlight on her coat. Neatly rasped hooves, all black, wore fringes of coronet hair grown long for the winter she'll never have to face.

I didn't know her well, but I felt the whisper of her passing. Someone had covered her face with a blanket for the journey between farms. I couldn't see her eyes, to know for sure her soul had gone, but I wondered if she could see me.

Horses can, you know. They see us better than we see ourselves.

I didn't know her well, but she was a good one -- a lucky one, too, to die at home with the family that loved her most of her life. She was twenty-eight.

Farewell, sweet Goldie. Happy trails.

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Funder said...

Beautifully written. I'm sure Goldie's human appreciates your help!

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Thanks for giving Goldie a nice place to rest. You are such a good friend to do that for her and your frend.

Endurance Granny said...

Having only laid my own vibrant mare to rest just a few weeks ago I found your writing poignant, beautiful, and bittersweet. That they cared so much is a testament to the horse/ human bond. That you respected that says something very special about you. My thoughts to your friends. ~E.G.

Lori Skoog said...

Your sensitivity to these animals is so clear. Beautifully put.

Michelle said...

What a beautiful tribute to a horse that you didn't even know. So nice of you to offer a resting place to her owners - I'm sure it was a welcome relief to not have to worry about that part of things.

Don Tucker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don Tucker said...

Beautiful and shows your heart for horses and their owners. Thank you for sharing.

Peace and Love


Lori Skoog said...

Tamara...I believe you had some info on your site regarding bitless bridles. It was some time ago...you knew someone who made them? Am I in the right pew? Can you help me in this department?